Journalism, representation and the public sphere

Title chapter:Employing a rhetorical approach to the practice of audience research on political communication
Author:Magnus Hoem Iversen
Keywords: Rhetoric, reception analysis, political communication, argumentation
Abstract:In the present chapter, I argue that the tradition of rhetoric includes certain perspectives that can be employed in the 'cultural tradition and reception analysis' - especially if one's area of inquiry is different forms of political communication. As originally practiced, reception analysis had a certain tendency to draw inspiration from the tradition of rhetoric. Consequently, there are certain shared perspectives, preconditions and conceptions between the two traditions. In the following, I argue that one should further examine how rhetoric can strengthen contemporary reception analysis. I present two approaches, or concepts, that I maintain are useful in this regard: a) a view of communication as intentional and b) a rhetorical view of argumentation. Integrating these tools into reception analysis will enable a further understanding on how traditional and emerging forms of intentional, political communication are perceived and interpreted by audiences. It will also encourage those practicing reception analysis to pay greater attention to the production of media texts, as well as engaging with the texts themselves.
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